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–> A midday take on what’s happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha–breaks down crying hysterically.


The Hill’s 12:30 Report: GOP set to give Biden huge political victory | Senate eyes weekend infrastructure vote | Rafael Nadal spotted around DC during Citi Open | Jan. 6 select committee prepares subpoenas amid August recess | McCarthy, Jordan could be subpoenaed | GOP congresswoman’s emotional interview on husband’s COVID-19 death | Trump PAC to give out ‘Trump Cards’



Spotted – Joe Biden on an Amazon Prime spree ordering all the victory lap decorations he can find:

Via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton, “Senate Republicans are about to hand President BidenJoe BidenBiden nominates Mark Brzezinski to be U.S. ambassador to Poland 10 dead after overloaded van crashes in south Texas Majority of New York state Assembly support beginning process to impeach Cuomo: AP MORE a huge political victory by voting for a historic $1 trillion infrastructure package that the president can then tout as fulfilling a campaign pledge to restore bipartisanship in Washington.” 

How many Republicans are expected to vote for the bill: It could be as many as 20 Republican senators (!) 60 votes are needed to pass the bill, meaning at least 10 Republicans have to be on board.


Senators are looking at holding a vote on the bill this weekend. 

Why the vote could be Sunday instead of Saturday: “Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinSenate eyeing possible weekend finish for T infrastructure bill The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Cuomo defiant as Biden, Democrats urge resignation Democrats barrel toward August voting rights deadline MORE (D-Ill.) said a vote to end debate was ‘possible’ on Saturday, but cautioned that it wasn’t final because senators were still haggling over up to 60 hours of time they would still need to burn through after that vote under the Senate’s rules before they could get to final passage for the bipartisan agreement.”

It’s Thursday! I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to [email protected] — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook. 

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This is amazing — ‘Rafael Nadal Falling In Love With DC Is The Rom-Com We Need.’:

Via DCist’s Rachel Kurzius, tennis star Rafael Nadal is playing at Washington, D.C.’s Citi Open tennis tournament this week.   

The photos of Nadal being spotted around the city are pretty great. 

My favorite: First, Nadal spotted by Levain Bakery. Second, he met a dog who is also named Rafa during the excursion. 




^Also, EXCELLENT decision stopping by Levain Bakery. I hope he got a dark chocolate, chocolate chip cookie. 

Oooh he either rented or brought a bike to tour the monuments: 

And took a selfie outside the U.S. Capitol:


It’s electric, boogie woogie woogie:

Via The New York Times’s Coral Davenport, “President Biden on Thursday will roll out a strategy that uses tailpipe regulations to try to rapidly shift Americans from gasoline-powered cars and trucks toward electric vehicles — a central part of his plan to cut pollution that is heating the planet.” 

Biden’s reasoning — it’s not just for environmental reasons: “In addition to his concerns about climate change, the president is worried that the United States is trailing China in the manufacturing of electric vehicles. Mr. Biden also sees opportunities to grow jobs if the domestic supply chain is retooled and expanded to produce batteries and fuel cells in American factories.”


President Biden will deliver remarks on clean cars and trucks. Watch live:


‘Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor ~August recess~ stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds’:

Lawmakers on the special committee investigating the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol attack are preparing their subpoenas, despite the August recess. 

Who could possibly be subpoenaed: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyLiz Cheney says her father is ‘deeply troubled’ about the state of the Republican Party Press: Inmates have taken over the asylum 58 percent say Jan. 6 House committee is biased: poll MORE (R-Calif.) and staunch Trump defender Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel Jordan58 percent say Jan. 6 House committee is biased: poll Kinzinger supports Jan. 6 panel subpoenas for Republicans, including McCarthy Jordan acknowledges talking to Trump on Jan. 6 MORE (R-Ohio) 

  1. “Will the panel hit roadblocks for subpoenaed documents?”
  2. “Should lawmakers like McCarthy and Jordan be called to testify?”
  3. “Could any Democratic witnesses offer testimony?”
  4. “Will they go after former Trump officials?”
  5. “Will there be an August hearing?” 

Context and details for each from The Hill’s Rebecca Beitsch and Scott Wong:


President Biden signs the bill, “An Act to award four congressional gold medals to the United States Capitol Police and those who protected the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021,” into law. Watch live:


For all the Moderna mates in the room!:

Moderna said this morning that those who received its COVID-19 vaccine will likely need a booster before the winter. 

Wow, this is pretty good: Moderna said that its vaccine is 93 percent effective after six months, compared to Pfizer’s vaccine with an 84 percent efficacy rate after the same time frame.

But what about delta…?: “Still, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said on CNBC on Thursday that the data was collected before the delta variant became prevalent in the United States, meaning the equation could change now that the delta variant is widespread.”

This is a very powerful, heartbreaking interview:





^AND SO IS Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceVirginia couple gets home detention in Jan. 6 case Officers’ powerful Capitol riot testimony underscores Pelosi’s partisan blunder RealClearPolitics reporter says Freedom Caucus shows how much GOP changed under Trump MORE
Former Vice President Mike Pence is urging young conservatives to get vaccinated. 

Pence told the Young America Foundation’s National Conservative Student Conference: “Now let me say this about the vaccine: I got the shot. My family got the shot. And I want to encourage anyone here who hasn’t gotten the shot who’s eligible to go get it. And if you’re not sure about it, go ask your doctor and get the very best advice you can.” More from Pence:


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 35,347,582 

U.S. death toll: 614,858 

Breakdown of the numbers:


Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 348 million shots have been given.

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 677,279 doses

For context: The U.S. population is roughly 331 million.

Breakdown of the numbers:







Trump cards! Get your Trump cards! Hot off the press!:

Via Business Insider’s Cheryl Teh, former President TrumpDonald TrumpMajority of Americans in new poll say it would be bad for the country if Trump ran in 2024 ,800 bottle of whiskey given to Pompeo by Japan is missing Liz Cheney says her father is ‘deeply troubled’ about the state of the Republican Party MORE’s PAC sent emails to supporters yesterday offering red-and-gold cards for “patriots” to carry in their wallets to show their support. 

What’s a Trump card, you ask?: “The emails did not outline exactly what entitled one to carry a ‘Trump Card.’ Clicking on the link to vote for a design led to a fundraising page.”  

Photo of the cards:


As a, fellow, overuser of, the comma, I, too, can relate:




Gah, these clips get me EVERY TIME. Again, I am *not* crying, people.:




Back story from WHYY’s Emma Lee: “Trenton Track Club coach Al Jennings settles in at the Trenton YMCA to watch his protege, Athing Mu, go for the gold in the 800 meters at the Tokyo Olympics.”


The Senate is in. The House is out. President Biden and Vice President Harris are in Washington, D.C. 

9:30 a.m. EDT: President Biden received the President’s Daily Brief.

11:30 a.m. EDT: President Biden and Vice President Harris met with Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander civil rights leaders.


11 a.m. EDT The White House COVID Response Team held a press briefing. Livestream: 

1 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiThe Memo: DeSantis-Biden sniping underscores COVID-19 frustration DeSantis hits back at Biden criticism: ‘Why don’t you do your job?’ Biden called Shontel Brown to congratulate her after Ohio primary win MORE and Education Secretary Miguel CardonaMiguel CardonaBiden celebrates anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act Biden’s Education Department must choose accountability or a ‘Marbury v. Madison’ moment Biden administration cancels .6M in student loan debt for fraud victims MORE hold a press briefing. Livestream:

3 p.m. EDT: President Biden delivers remarks on clean cars and trucks. Livestream: 

4:30 p.m. EDT: President Biden signs the bill, “An Act to award four congressional gold medals to the United States Capitol Police and those who protected the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021,” into law. Livestream:


Today is National Oyster Day.

Opening tomorrow!:

Via Popville, “Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience” is opening in Washington, D.C., on August 6. Details and photos:

And because you made it this far, here’s a pup who likes to take an active role in its haircut:

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